Monday, July 2, 2012
Stone County Officials Defend Stance On Burn Ban Decision:
Above average temperatures, a drought and the sale of fireworks have all come together to create a perfect storm for those who have to deal with fighting fires.
Fire chief David Gyger with the Southern Stone County Fire Protection District said extremely dry conditions have created a tinder box effect that has contributed to several fires in the last two weeks in the county.
On June 22nd, about five acres burned after a mower being used to prepare for Kimberling City's annual fireworks display caught fire. The next day, firefighters were called to Cape Fair after a mower hit a rock and sparked another blaze that burned about 15 acres.
At a news conference held on July 2nd, Gyger urged people who use fireworks to use common sense and have a water source nearby.
Two fires were started by fireworks over the weekend. Someone "drove by" and let off a bottle rocket that started a brush fire off of Ance Creek Road, according to fire marshal Mike Creswell. Another was started at a home by a family having a "firework display."
"We're willing to help any fire district in Stone County or any nearby by community. We're a mutual aid department and assist other fire districts who need our help," said Gyger.
Presiding Commissioner Dennis Wood says people are calling and asking that a burn ban be put in place. "We've got to be careful to preserve what we have. If you have to let off fireworks, be careful.. or buy them now and save them for after we've gotten some rain,"
Officials also urge campers to keep fires small and to make sure campfire's are out before they leave.
Ryan Kardell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Springfield, says the area may benefit from some pop up showers at the beginning of the week "but those are going to be pretty spotty and hit and miss."
Kardell says the beginning of the week will be somewhat cooler, but after that the triple digit heat returns to the region.